Home science Nearly 60% of Europe’s population is overweight, and Europe has never been affected by obesity

Nearly 60% of Europe’s population is overweight, and Europe has never been affected by obesity

Nearly 60% of Europe’s population is overweight, and Europe has never been affected by obesity

Education level affects weight

In its report, the World Health Organization indicates a high rate of obesity among adults with a low level of education. The figures show that in most countries, the lower the level of education, the higher the chances of developing obesity.

In Belgium, for example, only 8% of men with a high level of education are obese, compared to 16% of those with a low level of education. And the numbers are staggering among women: among those with a higher level of education, only 7% are obese, compared to 20% for the least educated.

Children, for their part, are also subject to this privacy. Those who live in families with lower levels of education (and often lower incomes) are more likely to be affected by obesity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified this phenomenon

The health crisis has dramatically changed the lifestyles of many Europeans. Various restrictions have democratized remote work and created a digital environment for obesity, with meal delivery apps in particular increasing in popularity.

Preliminary data collected by the World Health Organization indicate that levels of obesity in children and adolescents are increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies also show a decrease in physical activity and an increase in the consumption of foods high in fat, sugar and salt in young adults, which may explain the increased weight gain in this population.

Excess weight poses many health risks

Complications of the musculoskeletal system, chronic respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer … Being overweight can cause many health problems.

According to recent estimates, overweight and obesity cause more than 1.2 million deaths each year in Europe, which is more than 13% of all deaths behind hypertension, dietary risks and smoking. In addition, obesity is such a significant cost to society that in 2014 it was estimated that 8% of health spending in Europe was aimed at treating the consequences of being overweight.

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The World Health Organization also notes that in some countries, obesity could overtake smoking as a major cancer risk factor in the coming decades.

What solutions to fight obesity?

To combat the obesity epidemic in Europe, the World Health Organization is calling on European countries to act. The organization also makes several recommendations for airfoil reduction.

It is especially advisable to tax more fast food and reduce the amount of portions sold. The World Health Organization also envisions restrictions on marketing and advertising around these products, especially on the Internet.


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